September 7, 2001
In typical Friday fashion, sum-ups from a busy week. Congress is back for the scintillating task of spending your money. Thirteen spending bills need to be passed before the fiscal year ends this month, and Dems are screeching about deficits while Repubs try to wring out more money for education and defense. Meanwhile, back at the Casa Blanca, President Bush and his Mexican counterpart are crafting an amnesty plan and calling it anything but.
Feting Fox, Flattening Fences
Perhaps the red chili pepper sauce served over the state dinner ice cream is to blame. Raising a toast to Vicente Fox, President Bush said that the U.S. "has no more important relationship in the world than the one we have with Mexico." We'll keep that in mind next time we go to war.
Truth is, a war is already on - across our southern border where each year millions invade with impunity. But Mexico is no ally. On the contrary, Mexico's government regards the U.S. as a convenient outlet for its swelling population and is making every effort to open the border. "We will never forget you," President Fox told Mexican immigrants residing in the U.S. when he addressed Congress yesterday. He means that. Mexico does not encourage its migrants to become assimilated Americans. Rather, it aims to create a Mexican colony in our Southwest with free-flow back and forth across the border. And opposition here is slight. "Muy excelente," House Speaker Hastert pronounced President Fox's speech.
For his part, Mr. Bush seems to have forgotten which nation he leads. He calls our drug certification counterproductive, says of Mr. Fox's year-end deadline, "I want to accommodate my friend," and will move swiftly to give illegals jobs "Americans will not do." Perhaps the President hasn't noticed that his Labor Department reports 983,000 layoffs since January.
There's a logical counterclaim, and we're here to make it. For more on the case against amnesty, read the front-page feature in the upcoming issue of our newsletter, The American, and catch Pat tonight on "Crossfire" and on "Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer" Sunday at 12EST.
Beware Kennedy's Blessing
On Wednesday, the Senate opened hearings on President Bush's decision to partially fund research on embryonic stem cells. HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson grabbed headlines with his admission that instead of the 60 lines the President anticipated, we have only 24. But the greatest revelation of the day came from committee chair Ted Kennedy: "President Bush has opened the door to government funding for this important area of health research. The question before Congress is whether the door is open far enough." Such is the nature of incrementalism - and the danger of making concessions to the Left. Now that the door is open, it is far easier for opponents to push it wider than for the President to slam it shut.
More Spending Than Slashing
House Republicans (with Trent Lott's buy-in from the Senate side) are trying to put together a capital-gains tax cut before the session's end -- though President Bush's support is only lukewarm. In a closed door meeting yesterday, House leaders huddled over an "economic growth package" that, in addition to making the President's tax cut permanent and slashing the top capital gains rate to 15%, might consider … drumroll … spending cuts in 2002. Meanwhile, Republican Senator Pete Domenici, far from calling for belt-tightening, wants to dip into Social Security funds to "avoid a budget squeeze" for the current spending spree on track to surpass last year's budget by 7-8%.
Next week, tune in for an update on fast track, the latest on the President's amnesty push, and the painstaking progress of the budget. We'll be here to sort it all out.
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